Giving

 

Multi-Ethnic Group Of People's Arms Raised Holding Letters ThatI think that giving is one of the coolest things that the Lord ever created. He created giving when He first created the universe, the earth and mankind to live here. He also introduced the principle of giving in the Old Testament when He introduced the tithe. He reminded them again right before they entered into the Promised Land. Check this out…

22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23 Eat the tithe of your corn, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. (Deuteronomy 14:22-23 NIV)

This tithe was different than the money tithe. I don’t remember noticing this before that the tenth that the crops produced were to be eaten in the Presence of the Lord as a reminder of being blessed by Him.

I’m a big Dave Ramsey fan. I remember when Dave first said, “Live like no one else so that you can Live like no one else.” I started noticing that he added two words to that phrase. He now says: “Live like no one else so that you can Live and Give like now one else!” He obviously has lived that out to be given insight into the principle of giving. In my giving, I feel more blessed to give than maybe even the recipient of my gift.

My family tries to give thanks before every meal acknowledging the provision and blessing of the Lord. I’ve never thought of taking the food grown from the garden or any livestock and eating on the tenth before the Lord. I’ve never noticed that concept before. I do believe it is designed to create a grateful heart inside of me.

Giving to the Lord changes me.

Giving to the Lord reveals my dependence on Him.

Giving to the Lord acknowledges His Provision for me.

Giving to the Lord creates awareness of others needs.

Giving to the Lord blesses my heart in very unique ways.

Giving is so much a part of the DNA and Character of God….”For God so loved the world, that He gave His One and only Son…” (John 3:15 NIV)

I’m never more like my Heavenly Father than when I give.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

Additional Offerings

 

MoreAs I’ve read through the books of the law in the Old Testament, I’ve gotten a bit weary trying to understand all the offering requirements of God’s people. They were moving a million plus people around the desert for 40 years and they had some very detailed rituals that they were to be part of each day. It’s been hard for me to wrap my head around all of this. Most of the requirements were upon the priests and the Levite family. This morning I came across a passage that described the daily offerings, the Sabbath offerings as well as a few annual gatherings. The Lord was very specific in what He expected during the daily offerings as well as special events. The Passover was a big event commemorating the departure from Egypt as the Lord issued the final plague onto the Egyptians. The Israelites were “passed over” and the feast of the Passover was a reminder of God rescuing them from the Egyptians. Check this out…

23 Offer these in addition to the regular morning burnt offering. 24 In this way present the food offering every day for seven days as an aroma pleasing to the Lord; it is to be offered in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. 25 On the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do not do any ordinary work. (Numbers 28:23-25 NIV)

Although I read this account and get weary thinking about all the work they participated in for these special events, I do realize that the people had to have a heart a deep gratitude as the Lord saved them. He also dwelled among them. As I reflect on the Lord’s Presence in me, I don’t get tired of thanking Him or worshipping Him. My gratitude is deep and profound to the Lord for saving me from sin that can destroy me.

These special offerings like the Passover were always in addition to their regular offerings. I think it’s worth noting that the Lord instituted daily rituals as well as special occasion rituals for His people. This tells me that my daily journey is great, but sometimes I need to do things or be part of things “in addition” to my daily commitments.

At the end of the day, I could never give God too much. I could never out give Him. I could never do enough for Him to compare with what He’s done for me. It’s a true privilege to give to Him and serve Him. I should never get comfortable and complacent with my offerings. I owe Him all of me – my whole life belongs to Him. The Lord is living vicariously through me because I’ve given Him total access to my life. That’s not just an additional offering – it’s all I have and all I’ve got. It’s all His – I’m just the manager of His resources.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Giving Angle

 

The Power of Sharing Billboard Message Donate Give Help OthersI’ve seen people who are amazing givers. They are wired to give of their time, their money but most importantly – themselves. These givers are generous from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. People who give generously really love deeply. God loves generous givers because it’s part of Who He is.

Moses is finished setting up the tabernacle (aka tent of worship) and the leaders of each of the 12 family tribes brings gifts to the Lord in celebration of what He’s doing among them. Their gifts included silver plates, silver bowls, silver ladles and animals for burnt offering. The Lord was pleased with their giving. Now Moses enters the most holy place. Check this out…

89 When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him. (Numbers 7:89 NIV)

I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but I’ve felt Him speak into my heart. In fact I believe the more I seek His heart, the more Present He becomes in my heart. I think it’s interesting that after Moses consecrates the tabernacle and the people give, He goes in to meet with God and hears Him speak.

I am really like God when I give generously and lavishly. He is so very generous in His giving to me. I could never out give Him. The more I learn about the Lord, the more I notice His giving – it’s in His DNA. I believe He wants giving to be in my DNA. Giving gives me an angle to see things from that I can’t get any other way. I believe that the Lord can lead and speak to me in many ways, but giving sets me up to hear clearly from Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Giving Benchmark

 

Hand giving moneyI can remember not too many years ago that I was in a terrible financial position and I really struggled with giving. I’m not currently made of money and I wouldn’t consider myself wealthy, but I’ve learned to love giving. I really believe that it’s something the Lord is constantly teaching me. He is Giver of all Givers. He gives me life. He gives me hope. He gives me love. He gives me grace. He gives me mercy. I could go on and on. The Lord gives good gifts and He never runs out of gifts to give.

When giving the laws and decrees to the Israelites from Mt. Sinai, the Lord gives Moses the principle of redemption as well as the principle of tithing. Check this out…

30 ‘“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. (Leviticus 27:30 NIV)

My tithes and gifts to the Lord become Holy because He is Holy. I believe that as a giver I receive blessings that I could not possibly calculate. I could certainly not out give God. I believe good giving comes from great gratitude in my heart. The Lord continues to build upon my heart of gratitude. He loves for me to recognize what all He’s doing in my life. He loves for me to give Him credit for all that He’s doing in me. He is the Giver of all good gifts.

My gratitude starts with obedience. I need to consistently pursue His plan for me. I need to make choices that line up with His boundaries and directions for my life. I also need to realize that really all I have is His. I’m simply managing the resources that He’s given to me. I believe when I’m obedient by giving a tithe (10%) to the Lord, He does more with the 90% remaining than I could do with 100%. His economy is so different than the economy of our culture. He is a good, good Father Who loves me and wants what is best for me. I’ve got to learn to trust Him and follow His instructions when it comes to giving. He really knows best.

I remember watching my Dad write out his tithe check as a young boy. The top 10% was always given to the Lord and then the fun begins! I’ve met people over the years who has increased their giving to 20% – the 10% is the benchmark. Giving is good for my soul and it’s good for my gratitude. I’m more grateful because I give and I’m never more like the Father than when I give.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Free Will Giving

Hand giving moneyI have learned the joy of giving over the years. I didn’t learn it at one particular time or place. I think the Lord has just been shaping this into my heart. A few years ago when I first heard of Dave Ramsey, I was pretty broke. He said something that resonated with me: “Broke people don’t give”. I decided that I didn’t want to be broke ever again – I wanted to be a giver. My wife and I began to get momentum as we slowly but surely changed our spending habits and started dumping debt with a passion. We wanted to be free from debt and wanted to know the joy of giving. It is still a daily decision to be careful. I heard a prayer from a brother not long ago that resonated with me. He asked the Lord to help him not want so much. So Tina and I have really wrestled between what are “needs” and “wants”.

Moses is overseeing the construction of the tabernacle (aka tent of meeting). He has chosen two men who were highly skilled by God and they were responsible for managing the other volunteers who helped as well. It was a pretty significant undertaking. They begin the work and Moses talks to the people about giving. Check this out…

2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.’

6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’ And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. (Exodus 36:2-7 NIV)

It sort of blew my mind that Moses commanded the people to stop giving. I’ve never heard before. I’m not sure if I’ve never been part of generosity or if the projects I’ve given for can spend whatever they raise, so the budget becomes open ended. Here in the USA, we have an insatiable appetite for more. It’s hard to satisfy our open-ended wish list of stuff. I’ve noticed that the stuff often ends up owning me instead of me owning it.

I want to take a step back and let the Lord move in my heart and develop me into a very generous person. I want to be generous for His Glory NOT my own. I want to be a giver of my time as well as my treasure. I want to be generous toward others with both time and treasure. I’ve never done so much that He told me to stop. I have been told to stop giving to a certain person on entity, but I’ve never been told to stop giving. I want to be a Spirit driven giver!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Generous

Gift Box opened w blue ribbonI believe that this is a state of mind or a position of my heart rather than an amount of money given away. Generosity is often connected with money more than any other thing. Money always seems to be the right color and size when it comes to birthday gifts for a family member. When I’m giving to others, it’s not always about money. Time is the most precious commodity of our day – I can be generous with time and it can be a huge blessing to another person. Check this out…

25 A generous person will prosper;

    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25 NIV)

 

I love it when someone is generous with me. They give me more than I was expecting. When I grasp just how cool that is – it makes me want to be generous with others.  I’ve learned that when I give with the Spirit of God in my heart, it becomes a huge blessing to me. I can’t out give the Giver. The Lord is the Supreme Example of generosity. He loved me before I was really loveable. He gave before I knew I needed anything.  He gave me His most precious gift – His Son.  I want to be a giver like God. I heard it said, that “we are never more like God than when we give”.

 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
 
Pressing On!
Dwayne